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Xilinx launches industry first SmartNIC platform

Xilinx has introduced the industry’s first SmartNIC Platform, bringing turnkey network, storage and compute acceleration to cloud data centres. The company has also unveiled its OCP 3.0 form factor XtremeScale Ethernet adapter; proof of concept for world’s first FPGA-based OCP accelerator module.

Xilinx’s SmartNIC platform has been designed to deliver true convergence of network, storage and compute acceleration functions on a single device. The Alveo U25 SmartNIC is designed to bring the greater efficiency and lower TCO benefits of SmartNICs to cloud service providers, telcos, and private cloud data centre operators struggling with increasing networking demands and rising costs.

The U25 combines a highly optimized SmartNIC platform with a powerful and flexible FPGA-based engine that supports full programmability and turnkey accelerated applications. The U25 delivers a comprehensive SmartNIC platform to address the industry’s most challenging demands and workloads such as SDN, virtual switching, NFV, NVMe-oF, electronic trading, AI inference, video transcoding, and data analytics.

In addition, Xilinx announced its first XtremeScale Ethernet adapter card in the Open Compute Project (OCP) Spec 3.0 form factor and a proof of concept for the world’s first FPGA-based OCP Accelerator Module (OAM).

“The SmartNIC market is forecast to surpass $600 million and comprise 23% of the worldwide Ethernet adapter market by 2024,” commented to Baron Fung, research director at Dell’Oro Group.

“As cloud service providers scale capacity upwards, they are increasing their deployment of SmartNICs to free up valuable CPU cores for business applications, optimising server utilisation.

“The telco service providers, another market with strong growth potential, are looking to integrate SmartNICs from the core to the edge of the network for applications such as NFV and AI inferencing. FPGA-based SmartNICs such as the Alveo U25 are well positioned to address this growing market opportunity.”

Xilinx also unveiled the new XtremeScale X2562 10/25Gb Ethernet adapter card based on the OCP Spec 3.0 form factor. Designed for high-performance electronic trading environments and enterprise data centres, the X2562 features sub-microsecond latency and high throughput with ultra-scale connectivity for real-time packet and flow information to thousands of virtual NICs. The X2562 is currently sampling and will be generally available in the second calendar quarter of 2020. 

Additionally, Xilinx announced a proof of concept for the world’s first FPGA-based Open Compute Accelerator Module (OAM). Based on the Xilinx UltraScale+ VU37P FPGA with 8GB of HBM memory and compliant with Open Accelerator Infrastructure (OAI), the mezzanine-based card supports seven 25Gbps x8 links to enable rich inter-module system topologies for distributed acceleration.

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